Posted on 12 August 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Fate/Extra Last Encore

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this entire series takes place in a virtual reality where a massive Holy Grail War is taking place. The protagonist Hakuno and his Saber Servant must advance up seven Floors while defeating the servant and master that guards each floor to reach the Holy Grail at the top. The scenario itself certainly feels like that of a video game but this anime is not actually an adaption of the PSP game but instead an alternate retelling/sequel to that game. Despite claims from the writer that this anime could be experienced blind, the story itself does require context from the game to understand the story as a whole.

I will say that the story of this anime does sound good on paper and I am sure if you read summaries on each episode you would find yourself interested as the events of this anime do sound exciting, at least on paper. However the execution is botched heavily as the story was essentially a novel written by the author and handed over to be adapted into a anime screenplay. It’s source trappings remain in the show as Fate/Extra is an anime that prefers to tell you it’s story rather than show you it. There is an unforgivable amount of exposition and characters are not developed enough to make such copious amount of exposition interesting. The main character is essentially characterised as having no personality besides a vague anger which makes him a poor foil to the heroine of the series who mainly acts as fanservice. The massive amount of dialogue and Shaft being the animation studio has had people referring to this anime as Fatemonogatari which certainly seems like an apt comparison. The show is mainly dialogue and the battles between servants and masters on each floor all feel uninvolving and anticlimactic. Not helped when each fight either boils down to the protagonists trying harder or pulling out some previously unmentioned dues ex machina. I will say that Shaft make the show quite visually striking and there is some legitimately beautiful aspects like the illustration of the servant master duos in the episode endings. However the animation isn’t as strong as some other Fate entries and this series can take a bit too many of Shafts quirks as an anime studio.

The show follows a fairly formulaic pattern which makes the show feel vacuous as it continues to progress but the characters on screen remain machines for exposition or meaningless dialogue. What is likely intended to be the driving force of the series is the mystery behind what is actually happening as the story itself is very stingy on the details of what is actually happening causing many a viewer to just think “What?” which is the intention of the author but sadly backfired. Anytime you feel you are beginning to understand just what is happening in this show, it throws another curve ball and leaves you trying to figure it out all over again. Once pieced together the story becomes more straightforward but instead of being a rewarding experience to puzzle out it just becomes a reason why the viewer becomes so disconnected to the events on screen as we can’t engage if we are too busy trying to get to grips with what the plot even is. Upon its conclusion it just feels empty and meaningless, providing nothing of worth nor entertainment. Music didn’t leave much of an impression either. Overall there does feel to be a story under all this which could have made for a pretty good anime but the execution of it’s ideas where botched to the point that it just feels soulless and vacant , lacking anything which makes it recommendable besides finding out where that girl who looks exactly like Saber but in a red dress came from. Even then playing the Fate/Extra game would be a better experience even if that too isn’t perfect. So I pray…for Fate/Extra CCC to be localised for that certainly seems like it would beat out both the previous game and the anime. So get on it Marvelous or Xseed.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

It’s been a while but the final episodes of Fate/Extra are out and I thought that I couldn’t really add anything to what I previously said about this series. The last three episodes did nothing to change my opinion on the series as a whole, if anything it solidified my previous opinion and pretty much confirmed that the series as a whole was a rather pointless addition to the Nasuverse. But I happened upon this quote from a blog post that Nasu wrote before the first episode aired. And I quote:

“And this is how I got my engine running, but since I have no experience with writing anime scenarios, I wrote the source novel-ish book for “Last Encore”, and had Sakurai-san help me adapt and adjust that into anime scenario format.”

Thus like a thunderbolt it hit me and suddenly everything wrong with Fate/Extra Last Encore makes sense. Even in my previous posts about this series I remarked that it was far too much tell and no show but of course it is, for the source is a book. Also Sakurai was involved and I swear this woman is involved with some of the worst the Nasuverse has to offer, she has proven time and time again to be a terrible writer. Of course I am not pinning the blame entirely on her, her fault is in poorly adjusting Nasu’s novel to an anime format. Nasu is at fault for writing a novel when he’s supposed to write a screenplay, clearly he wrote too much to be conveyed and didn’t make use of the visual medium of anime to tell the story through other methods besides excessive exposition. The director is at fault for not making the fights stand out animation wise and ending anticlimactically. But these flaws all originated from this supposed to be anime original adaption turning out to be a adaption of a novel. Thus i must ask…if you had time to write a novel for Fate/Extra then why the hell is the Tsukihime remake a decade late at this point?!

The final episodes focus on Hakuno and Nero taking on the final floor master and the mastermind behind everything. The fights themselves lack any real gravitas as while the two lost to Gaiwen at first, they effectively beat him the second time by…trying harder? Oh and Gaiwens master decided that he wasn’t going to fight Hakuno and just stand there unlike the first time where he took an active place in the battle. Not much f worth happens, it plays out much like any other floor master with two episodes, heavy amount of exposition to explain everything and a anticlimactic fight. The final battle against twice Pieceman, or to be exact Twice Piecemans deadface, was made fair less exciting when he revealed that his Servant who was shown at the beginning of the series pretty much left offscreen and just handed over his Noble Phantasm to Twice. The final boss of the anime essentially abandoned the story and I don’t understand how that could be see as anything but disappointing. So the climax hits and I still don’t give a damn about Nero or Hakuno so their noble sacrifices mean nothing to me.

The final twist was pretty much expected with the earth being beyond help and practically ended but Hakuno decided to use the Moon Cell to create a virtual paradise which the remaining people on earth struggling to survive can escape to. I am reminded of the end of Apocrypha which also had the main character sacrifice himself in order to save the world and much like that series I find that the the character being sacrificed doesn’t have enough character to make me care. The end result of this series is that despite Nasu saying it would be a good entry point into the Extra spinoff of Fate, he was blatantly lying as without playing the Fate/Extra game this anime is missing valuable context. The semi sequel/Alternative path nature of the series makes it not an adaption of Fate/Extra nor providing anything of worth to the lore as a whole besides some Deadface ability which seemed to be invented for the sole purpose of trying to make Hakuno interesting. A straight adaption of Fate/Extra, which is briefly shown with flashbacks to Hakunon, actually looked to make for a far more interesting story than the one we got here. Not to mention a complete missed opportunity to have a Fate anime with a female protagonist. It’s sad really and this anime marks a pretty low note for the year of Fate Adaptations to end on. Well…at least Heaven’s Feel is pretty damn great.

Posted on 7 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

It hard to have an opinion on the last three episodes of Fate/Extra when the content has been quite similar to the previous episodes of the cour. For now the series has ended with the remaining episodes coming as a special later. Still unknown if that was the actual special broadcast that was originally considered a second cour. These three episodes mainly dealt with our protagonist getting through the fifth and sixth floors and yes, the fourth floor was rather shamelessly skipped over and only spoken about at the beginning of episode 8 as being “No big deal”. They essentially pulled a Katanagatari on it and to a degree I understand as the fourth master really was someone not really worth caring about. In fact depending on what route you took in the game the fourth master could be one of two different people, neither of which are particularly interesting. Only real thing of note was that one of the servants was actually Arcueid from Tsukihime which was rather neat.

Despite the different episode number the problems of the series remain the same. The fifth floor attempted to give some characterization to the protagonist and even featured female Hakuno for a brief time but ultimately Hakuno just remains a bland faceless void that you can’t really care about. Again the Scenario is interesting but the execution is lacking and it really does bug me about how that became a running theme. Really, looking at the story of Fate/Extra purely on paper it’s hard to imagine that it would be as lifeless as it is. Let us recap, the first floor had a city set up to harber masters that gave up on the war which culminated in the entire city getting flooded and Nero fighting a pirate ship on top of the ruined city. The second floor featured a forest with a sniper whose been killing people for a thousand years with a servant who can turn invisible. The third featured a cyber ghost girl in a weird wonderland who has been twisted into a monstrous abomination while waiting for the return of a friend. The fifth featured a master who was also a dead face, causing the protagonist to question his very existence and find new meaning to his mission all while finished with a battle on top of skyscrapers between master and master with servant vs servant. The ice landscape sixth floor had two masters who fought each other to a tie and ended up becoming the floor itself spawning hundreds of soldiers to fight each other for a thousand years only to finally gain enough sanity to guide Hakuno to the sixth floor just so he can end the long standing tie. Looking at all this , it all sounds very interesting and even great so why is it that I only remember feeling apathetic while watching previous episodes? By all accounts this should be engaging, it should have me anticipating the next episode with excited glee. Yet, much like the personality of Hakuno, I just feel it’s been a lifeless void.

I believe i have more or less covered why but seeing as this is the last episode for a while I might as well do a roundup. I can point three things that are messing up this story. One is that this story is almost 90% told through exposition. The exposition dumps are egregiously bad so as to have the setting, characters and current events all told through whatever is deemed to be the mouthpiece of the author. Too much effort has been put into explaining the story over telling it and despite all this it still remains a confusing mess at times because it fails to establish a foundation. Just when you think you know what is what, the story flings another conundrum for you to place and gives little motivation to do so. The second thing is characters with a big offender being Hakuno the blank nobody character. Nero admittedly is pretty tiresome as well considering her main roles is to do the fighting and be waifu fanservice. I am actually having trouble placing who is a worse protagonist, Sieg from Apocrypha or Hakuno from Extra but in truth they are remarkably similar in how they are both non characters with some existential dilemma of their manufactured existence that ultimately leads them to become stereotypical hero archetypes. Though while the main reason for hating Sieg is that he took screentime from much more interesting characters, the characters of Fate/Extra outside of Hakuno and Nero are really just exposition devices in human clothing. These creatures spout exposition about the nature of their character, the world and magic without much emotion. Indeed even in face of their own death they speak there last words like reciting a shopping list. That’s not how humans talk, we don’t just have prepared speeches and lectures ready to be fired off with perfect clarity and precision when first questioned. Our emotion comes out in how we speak, even how we respond to certain topics is within our character. Nobody stands like a mannequin reciting hamlet from memory. Of course some may argue that in this series everyone has lived a thousand years and their dehumanization is the result of dealing with a unwinnable situation for so very long. To which I say fair enough but it means that nobody here cares about what is going on and if they don’t care, why should I?

Then comes the third problem, the animation. Now it actually has be wanted by fans for quite a long time for Shaft to do an adaption of Fate/Extra, a sentiment that I never truly understood. Maybe it was because Shaft animated the openings for the Fate/Extra games but I honestly felt they were a mismatch. Shaft are about artistic animation saving techniques, you can have an opinion on the expression that Shafts style brings but the ultimate goal is mainly to present a show in a matter that’s least troublesome to animate. Considering that the Fate series has a pendant for ridiculously impressive animation it seems like a odd choice to go for a studio that uses style to cover for animation workload. Maybe it was because Fate/Extra was considered more avantgarde? Like hell it is. While exposition scenes are made a bit more interesting with their visual experimentation, ultimately it makes all the fight scenes of this anime feel ridiculously anticlimactic. I once thought Fate/Zero was too anticlimactic, oh what a sweet summer child I was for Fate/Extra truly embodies the word. Not a single fight in this series is remotely satisfying. So the fighting stinks, the story told primarily through exposition and the characters are too apathetic and soulless. So on a last note I will say I did at least like the presentation of Nero’s backstory, female Hakuno showing up briefly and that one small moment where Rin describes her hellish situation with a pained smile. Emotion, makes all the difference.

Posted on 15 March 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

Thus ends the Nursery Rhyme two episode arc and that certainly was more confusing than it needed to be. The fight was once again, anticlimactic and rather lacking strategy wish as well. I mean our protagonists kept talking like they had a plan but it pretty much amounted to just climbing the tower and fighting the monster again. Then on off chance the protagonist managed to pick up a book which convinced the monster to let them win instead of turning back the clock yet again. So it’s back to the game of figuring out just what the hell is even happening again. From what I can gather it appears that the story has been jumping between two different Hakuno’s. The Hakuno of the past who met Alice, sympathised with her and got her to give up so he could ascend to the next level, promising that he would come back. Then god knows how much time has passed and a new Dead Face Hakuno is climbing the floors. But in the time he was gone, Alice has been consuming materials and masters in order to stop herself from fading away, resulting in her turning into a monstrous amalgamation that no longer remembers what she was waiting for.

So our Dead Face Hakuno learned of his previous versions interactions with Alice and climbs the tower in order to put her out of her misery alongside Rin and Nero. WIth RIn providing truckloads of exposition and Nero admitting that she has been through this all before while suggesting that Hakuno was her master back then too. While it has been apparent for quite a while, Fate/Extra Last Encore does have a problem with characters dialogue almost consisting of pure exposition and little else. After all, we meet Nursery Rhyme in this episode and all she does is spout more exposition and when it comes to character motivations that too is told by the individuals themselves. This may be a result of the Nasu being the author as it is important to note that he is a Visual Novel writer, not a anime writer. Nasu doesn’t seem to be taking advantage of the medium to show rather than tell, instead treating it like a visual novel where stretches of exposition can be more forgiven due to limited visuals and the binge nature of the medium. Even Gen Urobuchi has this same kind of exposition heavy storytelling but in his case he writes exposition so well that it hardly becomes an issue. Nasu on the other hand isn’t quite as good at writing engaging exposition and I honestly feel his strengths lie more in his character writing and action setpieces. With this anime it feels like Nasu is focusing far too hard on the mystery of the story rather than the characters going through it with may be the primary reason for it becoming rather dull despite the actual story being told having interesting aspects.

You can write the most interesting story in the world but if you don’t care about the characters in that story then nothing that happens within it is going to engage the viewer. Spice and Wolf proved that with enough character chemistry you can make even the most boring of subjects engaging just by the interactions between them. Nero, Rin and Hakuno just lack that as Rin exposits, Hakuno may as well be a walking plank and Nero seems to be there to fight, make small musings and say umu while being the fanservice. So for this show to get interesting, we need these characters to lighten up, the action to get better and more show with less tell. Cause I got to tell you, as for the mystery of this series, I don’t give a damn anymore. As a last note, Nasu you give Rin the ability to install Cu but not put Cu into the story? Cu could have been the perfect ice breaker for all these serious scenes. I would have loved to see him throwing Rin off balance and teasing her. Also we can install in the extraverse now? How does that even work?

Posted on 7 March 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

In case you didn’t know this series was made by Shaft, this episode has left no doubt. As our heroes walk through a forgotten Madoka set piece to find the latest master. I admit that this may be a change of formula that I was hoping for last episode, though the two episode Master of the week setup remains. Visually it’s a busy episode with Shaft flexing all it’s muscles in providing odd locales but storywise it’s rather barren. It honestly seems that when I approaching a point where I can make sense of what is happening the story just suddenly veers back into what the hell territory. Something which has become quite annoying now as we are halfway through the series and I am so disjointed from the plot to bring myself to care about it much. The majority of this episode consisted of Nero,Rin and Hakuno just walking through the area while Rin throws down some exposition only to lead to Hakuno meeting Alice who proceeds to lay down more exposition. Today’s topic is cyber ghosts which is basically means that people can died in SE.RA.PH and still survive in digital space with just their mind and soul.

A convenient topic as the master this week is a dead girl who happened to become a floor master. Alice gave some background on herself this episode but allow me to elaborate because somebody’s got to set thing straight here and this show certainly isn’t going to do it. Alice was a English girl who was gravely injured in a WWII air raid and left in a vegetative state, however it was discovered that he body had magic circuits and she was kept alive for research purposes. She spend a few years in continual pain and suffering before he body finally gave out and died. Seems her mind was connected to the net when she died(Trying to make sense of the net existing around WWII) and she was left a cyber ghost wandering around till she found the Moon Cell(Big old supercomputer that runs Virtual world SE.RA.PH) SO she strolled in and made a contract with the Servant Nursery Rhyme which took on her appearance and became her only friend.

I told you the servants in this one get weird and Nursery Rhyme is a weird one indeed being a heroic spirit that represents childrens rhymes. Her real form is a book and she only takes the human form of her current master and it seems she can even have a different class or stats based on who contracts with her. In this case it seems they have made some weird floor reality marble with is like an Alice in Wonderland like paradox where up is down, left is right and time is all over the place. A neat idea and made all the more troublesome in that the world can essentially reset itself if the servant doesn’t like where it is going. What’s more it seems this place causes masters to have flashbacks to previous memories though here we mainly get cryptic nonsense from a girl called Amamia. Once again we get evidence that this has all happened before as Hakuno recalls memories where he oddly has a different command spell and of people he has yet to meet.

It would be quite interesting if Hakuno didn’t respond to that like a lethargic doll and I think that really is a problem with this series, the character simply not reacting much or responding to clearly bizarre events. Point is that if Hakuno, the one whose in the middle of all this, can’t bring himself to care about his own situation, then why should I? Once again the setup here is excellent as we have a world that writes its own rules, with a master whom you lose all memory of if you leave her and can have past and present merge together. Maybe if the cast was more interesting this could be an exciting prospect but so far our current enemy master has proven herself to be more interesting than the main cast. I do at least wonder how they will win when the rules are so turned against them and I hope the solution doesn’t come from Rins convenient access to the script.(How did Rin know that the Floor masters servant was Nursery Rhyme? There is no way in hell anyone could conveniently guess that)

Posted on 28 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

So we have basically established that the events of Fate/Extra’s game story did in fact happen as Maximilian has a flashback to the point where he lost in Fate/Extra’s game. So it is rather odd that I still can’t make much sense of the plot here. What I can gather is that he was somehow revived as this floors master and effectively decided to throw away his chivalrous attitude and focus on killing a master to advance up the floors. However because he is a previously deceased master he can no longer advance up the floors but Robin and him still kill masters because…then they don’t lose? What is this motivation here? Are you telling me these two killed people for a thousand years only because they were sore losers? Yep, I think it’s time to admit it. The honeymoon period is over and I have started to lose a lot of interest here. So far the main drawing point of this series has been the mysterious nature of it’s plot but there’s a point where it’s too hard to care about something when you end up with more questions than answers. Not to mention the mystery is primarily presented through massive amounts of exposition and the characters just remain uninteresting. The only other drawing factor is the action which once again has a servant be taken out anticlimactically by Nero. The way these servants just go down so fast has started me making a pet theory that they all have pretty much given up over the thousand years and just let nero win, which would be delightfully cathartic if that was the case. Nero has previously staged fights in her life where the fight was rigged so she would win and the idea of her victories in this war being nothing more than servants just letting her win would be so suitable. Ultimately meaning she’s not really that strong a servant and is just getting full of herself.

The annoying factor is that the fights so far have a great setting for a showdown with the Sniper battle with the master and Robin hunting in the woods are great setpieces for an epic battle. These floors make for explosive battlegrounds for these servants to wreak havoc and yet the battles often just feel like they are cut off too soon with no real satisfaction. Topped off with the fact that Nero is the only one in danger here as we have more or less established that Hakuno cannot be killed. His dead face powers are far too vague at the moment as it’s not even clear if he can activate them at will or why he’s keeping them secret from Nero. What these powers can even do is a mystery as he somehow materialized a gun to shoot max and I don’t know if that’s part of his powers or not. It doesn’t matter if Hakuno gets shot by Max, he won’t die so there no real tension. Sure Rani can die but quite honestly who cares about Rani? She was introduced last episode, has the emotional range of a teaspoon and has done nothing but spout exposition. Am I supposed to be sad when she gets shot and dies? But this could be another trend with this shows formula as I recall Rin being on the bottom floor as Shinji flooded the city, meaning she could be dead. But then who is the Rin at the end of this episode you ask? Well I have gotten fully on board with the Rin is Tamamo in disguise theory. Though I think that only applies to the Rin that traveled up the elevator with them and then mysteriously disappeared during the events of this little skirmish.

Regardless despite this info I just find myself rather…apathetic. Tamamo fans might rejoice if she shows up but I don’t particularly care if she shows up or not. Fanservice can only go so far and I need something to get me interested here. The characters are not doing it for me cause our main heroine has nobody to work off besides the soulless husk that is Hakuno and everyone else just feels like exposition devices. The action scenes are lacking so no eye candy to keep me interested either. My point is, I want to care. I want to like this show, I want it to not be as disappointing as the other non Ufotable Fates have been. I remember referring to UBW with disappointment during it’s airing but over time I think it did a better job than Apocrypha and Extra here. As far as I see it, this show needs something to grab my interest again, perhaps a new character to join our duo to make their interactions more fun to watch? Maybe give Hakuno a bloody personality? Perhaps an upgrade to the fight scenes? Or maybe we can stop being all mysterious here and start telling the audience just what in the holy hell is going on, or at least a framework that allows for us to start making theories. What I don’t want is another Nero bath scene, another encounter of the new master and servant antagonists only to be interrupted by some new random serventless master who takes in the two, followed by another barrage of barrels of exposition, with another anticlimactic final confrontation while leads to the elevator and wash, rinse, repeat. As a wise man once said, Variety is the spice of life.

Posted on 20 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

Well is it just going to be a thing from now on to have Nero take a bath in between floors? The large amount of Nero fanservice seems a bit of the excessive side and I feel like shaft is to blame for that. As a matter of fact now might be a good time to bring up cons with this series seeing as we have made it past the three episode guideline. So far I still remain somewhat invested in the story but I admit that we may be moving to a formula with how to approach the remaining masters. Seems that Hakuno and Nero will move to the floor, have an encounter with the master and his servent, meet some serventless master on the floor who clues them in with exposition before moving to take down the floor master. Then wash, rinse and repeat. Likely there is some changes to this coming but if this is to be the formula going forward this could get rather stale.

It wouldn’t be such a problem if the action was good but I find that Shinbo’s style doesn’t quite work well with the normally kinetic nature of Fate’s servant battles. It works when the characters are standing round having a chat so when it comes to exposition that this series is shoveling out heavily, Shinbo’s style works. But with it comes to action scenes, the quick cuts and odd determination to not show attacks actually hitting proves to be rather frustrating to watch. It might be rather unreasonable to expect Shaft to bring the level of fights Ufotable has trained fans to expect but even the likes of Prisma Illya and Apocrypha attempted to meet that expectation. For this however the style is clearly getting in the way of making the action work which is a same as the opening does show that Shaft can make some rather excellent fight choreography.

On that note I am disappointed to see that Drake wasn’t added to the opening and instead it remains being just Nero fighting off shadows. The song is growing on me but it does feel like a song that lacks an explosive chorus. Instead building throughout the song to just cut off suddenly. The endings are updated at least to show the master/servant duo of the week and the illustrations are quite excellent. For another previously mentioned con, the Nero fanservice is getting on the excessive side though I am surprised that they didn’t take the opportunity to show off Rin in the bath if that was the agenda. Look, Nero is such a narcissist that she thinks nothing about showing her naked body to people but having her walk out of the bath wearing nothing but a ribbon is just going far too far. In the first place, did I miss the bonding session where Nero became so comfortable with Hakuno in the first place?

Nero seems awfully attached for a servant that only knew her master for a day or two. Though yes this brings me on to my next con, Hakuno desperately needs some goddamn personality. All we got from him is that he has this vague hatred and a need to win the holy grail war. He still is the player character of the game and this is truly a missed opportunity to give him some characterization. At least we could have taken the route done with Persona 4’s protagonist which turned a normal mute player character into a deadpan snarker. Or even Gudako from Fate/Grand Order who has basically been characterised as a massive troll by supplementary content. (God I wish she was the protagonist of Grand Orders anime, could have gotten some amusement out of it then.)

Moving on to another con, we have Rin disappear and a new girl pop up called Rani. I am really quite surprised to see Nasu actually bring Rani into this as while she was a character in the Fate/Extra game, she wasn’t a fan favorite despite being a potential main heroine. Personality I always saw her being destined to join the backalley alliance in Carnival Phantasm featuring the unloved Sacchin, Sion and Riesbyfe.(Though maybe Sacchin wouldn’t be so unloved if she got her damn route in that Tsukihime remake that you should have been done writing about now Nasu!) Ultimately Rani’s purpose her is to shovel exposition which has gotten rather excessive with this series but we at least learn that this anime is set far into the future and that the digital humans within this virtual world may be the last remnants of mankind. Not sure what to make of that as I am still trying to piece together just what is going on too much to actually find the reveal all too shocking. I spent the majority to this post talking flaws but overall this episode was rather straightforward, new servant, new exposition dump and more questions.

A noteworthy aspect though is that this particular master and servant have done a completely 180 in how they were in the game. Before the old man was the one who wanted to fight fair and square which often worked against his servants style who is more accustomed to playing dirty. It’s a pity as i rather liked that dynamic in the games story but lets see just where this is going. As a last note it appears this series has two arcs, the first of which is this one named “Oblitus Copernican Theory” and a second arc named “Illustrious Ptolemaic Theory” which will be broadcast at a later unconfirmed date. It has not been clarified whether the second arc is a second cour of sorts though I am placing my bets on it being another 12 episodes. Some seem to believe that this is doing some sort of Danganronpa 3 Future/past arc broadcast with the future arc being broadcast first with the past arc answering questions. Though considering how unpredictable this series has been as of late, we really cannot guess as to what we are truly going to get.

Posted on 13 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

I actually wonder if a time will come when I have an actual idea of what exactly is going on in this series. But today marks Hakuno’s first true servant battle as he takes on Shinji and Francis Drake so that he can ascend to the next level. So to surmise what I can understand of the exposition in this episode, it seems that originally a pretty standard grail war tournament was going on with masters killing each other to reach the top floor. However something seems to have happened which has locked down each floor and put the Grail War on halt. Now it seems the only way to make one’s way up is to kill the Floor master, whom seems to have been selected by the bright circle in the sky. Shinji seems to have had the option to move up to the next floor but after killing yet another person to get further in the game ultimately decided that he wanted no more of this and built a town on the bottom floor. It’s not really certain whether anyone was in the town, or if the town was filled with the ghosts of the masters who died in the war, or if the town existed at all. But I will say that Shaft knows how to make a good servant match setup as the town is flooded to make the stage for Nero’s battle against Drake.

And yes, Francis Drake is a big breasted pirate in this universe and no, there is no real explanation as to why this is. Honestly I really like how this fight was set up though they really should have kept Drakes Golden hind in the water instead of having it weirdly floating. Also for all the grandstanding the fight itself is disappointingly anticlimactic with Drake essentially giving up the moment she runs out of bullets. Part of the reasoning suggested behind this is that Shinji was using Drakes treasure to sustain the illusion of the city and Drake is a servant whose power is dependent on how much treasure she possesses. Still this does feel like Drake was effectively given the short end of the stick as it doesn’t really show just how much of a powerhouse she can really be. She’s a five star servant for a reason so she shouldn’t be getting destroyed by a four star servant. She really should have put up more of a fight than this and it just seems so out of character for Drake to just lay down and die. Drakes a girl that fights with her fists when she runs out of bullets.

So my previous episode guesses turned out to be half right and half wrong. Right in that it appears there were no masters on the first floor but wrong in Shinji’s intention. Shinji seems to pity those that gave up on the fight and the town was really supposed to be just that, a refuge for the quitters. Or he believes that bringing a bunch of masters together will cause something to happen. Or he just wants to prove that humanity isn’t worthless. Honestly his motivation is rather confusing. This would be a good time to remind that this Shinji isn’t Fate/Stay Night Shinji. If this goes by the same lines of the games story, Shinji was a regional games campion who joined the Grail War because he thought it was just another game. He is also significantly younger than his teenager avatar would suggest. Same goes for Rin who may look Identical to her Fate/Stay Night counterpart but her real self actually is rather different.

For one, real Rin is blond. Still I find it really weird for Shinji of all people to accept dying with Rider. Shinji so far has been portrayed as being the usual Shinji we know though his final words certainly seem to suggest he went through a large change of heart in the time since coming to the first floor. Most curiously both Shinji and Rin don’t seem to recall meeting Hakuno in the school simulation and on top of which when Hakuno remarks about having been killed in the school, several shots of Hakuno’s dead body are shown with different causes of death. One I find most interesting is one where he is lying dead in front of a throne with a clear sword slash on his back suggesting that Nero killed him. There is most definitely some time looping shenanigans going on here. Last note, Rin states that her servant was taken but I hope that doesn’t mean he won’t be showing up. One thing I always thought was a massive shame with the Fate/Extra game was the lack of Rin and her servant interacting with each other.

Posted on 7 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

I would say if this series had a element that could become a major problem it’s going to be Shinbo’s directing style. It’s sort of a given when you walk into a Shaft series that you are going to have people tilting their heads in awkward angles alongside talkative characters where the camera shots jump around as to show as little movement as possible. Still so far it’s at a tolerable level and it may even be a positive for those who are fans of the monogatari series as I can see people labeling this Fatemonogatari. But dear readers it’s time for the million dollar question, namely just what the hell is going on? Casual viewers are confused, Fate fans are confused and even those that played the game this is adapting are confused. Of course it’s already been made clear that Nasu intents this to be an anime original take on the game but what he has planned is certainly got everyone tilting their heads in bafflement. So let me round this up. We have a number of exposition scenes with the first taking place in a bath as a buck nude Saber explains the bare necessities to Hakuno. Honestly questioning just why this had to take place in a bath but I guess we gotta get Nero naked somehow. Can’t say it’s out of character for her to bath with Hakuno without a shred of embarrassment and more importantly this does appear to be Fate/Extra Nero and not Fate/Extella Nero.

Roman public baths are a thing and Nero is cocky enough that being naked in front of people is no concern to her. It does seem like a blatant show of fanservice but at least it’s not at the levels of Fate/Extella where Nero seems like she made every line either about wanting to screw you senseless or toot her own horn. So we get the usual rundown, Holy grail, Masters and servants, Battle royale to the death. The big info here is the reveal that all this is taking place in cyberspace, virtual reality. All which a some supercomputer called the moon cell is doing to determine the master of the Holy Grail. Thus what was supposed to follow was that Hakuno and Nero would fight their way up seven levels to make it to the top and claim the grail. But instead are greeted with a bustling town on the first level which has all the masters that decided to just give up on the grail and hang out on the bottom floor. The mayor of this town being Shinji of all people whom is asking people to sell off their servants in exchange for just having fun on the bottom floor. Already it appears that a significant amount of time has passed between the massacre in the school simulation and Hakuno’s elevator trip up to the first floor. I don’t really have an explanation on why there is a time difference but I think I understand what is going on in this first floor at least.

From my guess it appears Shinji is busy trying to con people into selling him their servants so he can use them to make it to the top floor. I don’t really think there are any masters on the first floor as the town does seem quite empty but I am not sure if that’s intentional or just Shaft making things look spacious and empty for style. It does make sense that Shinji’s first move would be to try and nab as many servants as possible as even at the beginning of Fate/Stay Night he tried to make alliances with Rin and Shirou. As for the final episode twist which brings back Hakuno’s odd durability it appears that they are hinting him to be some sort of combination of all the dead masters that failed to reach the grail. Interesting as Jack from Apocrypha was also that kind of entity as she was created from the grudges of dead and abandoned children in london. It’s a decent twist but Hakuno does remain a bit too much of a non character to really relate to. I would like him to gain more personality as I don’t really buy his sudden attachment to Nero and for Nero to really shine she needs a foil she can work off of. Just make him more suave and snarky and he will do just fine, already winning points for being fairly nonchalant with a nude Nero in front of him.

The opening for this series is a strange one as it appears to be just Nero fighting shadows in a colosseum with a decent song in the background. Her fight choreography is good but it just seems rather barebones at the moment. The could come to change as more servants are introduced as I have a feeling the opening with include them as they are introduced, turning the opening into one big free for all between Nero and the servants of Fate/Extra. I will keep my mouth shut on who the servants are for now but if you played Fate/Extra or Fate/Grand order then you likely spotted some familiar faces here. Also even if I do keep things secret there is not a chance in hell you will end up guessing these servants because Fate/Extra’s servants are….weird. You may be thinking “What, weirder than female frankenstein’s monster or stripper loli Jack the Ripper from Apocrypha?” and the answer is kinda. See Fate/Extra’s servants are either famous names whose design has been changed so drastically that they are unrecognisable or names so obscure and out there that no one could ever figure it out. Either way I am interested in where this is going. Fate/Extra Last Encore isn’t blowing me away yet but so far it’s been solid enough to keep me invested.

Posted on 30 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

To newcomers of the series this first episode of Fate/Extra must have you thinking “Just what in the hell is going on?” but have no fear for as this sites resident Fate expect I can safely tell you that…yeah, I have no idea either. While this is Fate/Extra, it has been confirmed that Nasu is writing a brand new story for this one so while some beats of Extra may be followed, the story may end up being very different. An important thing to note is that despite familiar faces showing up here, this is indeed an entirely different world and therefore that means that even though Rin is here, she is not the same Rin who went through the events of any of the other Fate Adaptations. The same goes for Kirei though it seems that no matter what world he is in, Shinji is always Shinji. We have less animation this time around but I do admit that Shaft makes up for it with style though this episode was unfortunately dampened thanks to the dimming of action scenes due to epilepsy concerns. For a first episode this is a strong effort as while the characters are not particularly interesting yet, there is air of mystery and intrigue that keeps you sucked in. This anime appears to be building on Extra’s story and adding another layer to it as the opening starts off with the female protagonist getting decimated before changing to the male protagonist. I hope there is a greater effort to characterise him as the protagonist of Extra was very much a blank slate for the player to insert himself into and after Apocrypha I really don’t want another one of those.

However the protagonist isn’t the only one I am worried about here as this success of this series does depend on him and also on Nero, otherwise known as Red Saber. I don’t really think I need to hide her identity considering that it’s widely known and otherwise impossible to guess. But yes, the success of this series depends partly on her or to be more exact, which Nero is here. What do I mean? Well my friends let me tell you a tale of Nero from Extra. Nero was a cocky little narcissist who loved tooting her own horn and that was actually quite charming. She came across as what would happen if you injected some of Gilgamesh’s ego into Blue Saber and ended up a loveable dolt who had the kind of confidence you just wish you had. I mean the woman wears a see through dress because she thought it would be a shame to deprive the world the beauty of her thighs. What made her particular fun was when she spoke pure bullshit on her achievements and if you called her out on it she would get meek and sullen.

I actually quite liked her then but it seems I didn’t nearly like her as much as the writer Hikaru Sakurai does. The writer of Fate/Extella and the Septem section of Fate Go, Sakurai has proven that she quite likes Nero. In fact, she absolutely adores her but sadly this results in Nero undergoing a massive character shift when one plays Extella or Septem. For Fate/Extra’s Nero was a cocky loveable brat who always touted herself as the best thing since sliced bread but Fate/Extella’s Nero is not only being claimed to be just as great as she makes herself out to be but actually even underselling her godly essence. Sakurai’s Nero is a mary sue of the highest caliber and the plot does nothing but to constantly wax on about how great and magnificent Nero is that it turned my opinion on her from like to hate. With Nasu writing this instead of Sakurai I am hoping for a return of the Nero that I liked provided that Nasu isn’t getting Sakurai to ghostwrite for him.

So what exactly happened here in this episode? Well it appears to be some sort of elimination round before the holy grail war. They got a hefty amount of masters here so they are whittling them down to a certain number of masters to fight in the war. The process appears to be sticking them in some sort of school simulation and having them eliminate each other through tests? Seems like for a while that people were getting killed off and brought to the infirmary before being thrown into the incinerator. This has been going on for a while until Kirei pulls sudden death with the last masters being chosen based on whoever kills someone else first. The good news is that the school setting appears to be gone though I do believe that the series is really pushing sense of disbelief with the main characters durability. Guy was stabbed several times, fell down a hole, pierced through with an arrow and even after all that the man is still kicking.

Part of this is sort of justified by the digital looking nature of the world but still, with that level of damage the MC should have been long dead. As a last note, I really like that the stone servent that brought the main character near death before summoning a servant was Archer from Fate/Stay Night. As in Fate/Stay Night it was Cu who wounded Shirou before he summoned a Saber which is whom Archer was fighting when Shirou saw them. So it makes for a nice parallel to have Archer instead be the one to chase down the MC before he summons a Saber. Even the stone nature of the servant referring to his position as a counter guardian and that he was also a servant you could choose in Fate/Extra. Sadly like Tamamo and the alternative Female MC, he appears to have been Shafted.(Pun not intended)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
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